H-E-B “The Hurricane Efficiency Brigade”

10/23/2017 – We’ve all heard great stories of our local heroes and companies that jumped into action before, during and after Hurricane Harvey.  HEB’s actions, as highlighted in the article below, has become my favorite!  I read the attached article, an interview with HEB’s Scott McClelland and got goosebumps.  HEB’s hurricane preparedness and response effort is truly remarkable, and a marvel from many perspectives-

  • Leadership presence and authority
  • Product focus, distribution and logistics
  • People and culture

This article is a great read from all those perspectives on how HEB handled Harvey and other Gulf Coast hurricanes.  But what really struck me from the people and culture standpoint was the employees’ response to McClelland’s question- “What can I do to thank you?” 

His people jumped into action, drove into Houston from Austin, San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley to work 18 hour days stocking shelves and operating its Houston store s.  It wasn’t money that motivated them, but rather, the chance to be part of the relief effort, to be part of something bigger than themselves.  Their response,  “Can you make a pin that we can put onto our badge to commemorate that we were part of this?”  They only wanted recognition for being part of the relief effort.

The article is well worth the read, and worth the leadership lessons to be gleaned from HEB’s example. I used this very example to teach my young daughters about the concept of corporate social responsibility, and how it is these types of actions in the midst of despair and devastation that build employee and customer loyalty.

That’s our spark, what’s yours?